Thursday, May 31, 2012

Technology Tickets

 Going into summer vacation I knew I didn't want my kids sitting around watching TV and playing video games all day every day. I came across an idea awhile back somewhere--probably Pinterest--for a system to keep track of time spent on technology and limit it. However, I hadn't re-pinned the idea so I did a quick Google search and found this idea that I liked but I wanted to tweak it to suit our needs and lifestyle better.

Here's the system I came up with:
**Each Monday morning starts with twelve tickets per kid (two for each day Monday through Saturday).
**Each ticket is worth thirty minutes.
**They earn these tickets the previous week by doing their regular chores and helping out when I ask them to.
**In theory they use can use one hour a day for Wii, PS2, Netflix, computer time or a DVD, but tickets can roll over into the next day or week.
**Several tickets can also be used  at once, but that means less time later in the week.
**Additional tickets can be earned at my discretion by performing special chores.
**I am requiring thirty minutes of reading per day from each child but each additional thirty minutes of reading earns another ticket.
**I have ultimate veto power. If I feel like my kids have used too many tickets in one day, then I have the right to say, "Sorry, come back tomorrow."
**When a boy wants to use a ticket he brings it to me and I tear it in half and throw it away. That way tickets can't be reused.

 Each boy has a pocket for their tickets. I write their initials on each ticket so no one can pilfer someone else's tickets and pretend they are theirs.

 The letters at the bottom help us keep track of what day of the week it is (and how long the rest of the tickets need to last until they get replenished). I just mark the day with a push pin. There isn't a day for Sunday. We are trying an unplugged Sunday.

The exception to this is family friendly movies. Family movies were a Sunday evening tradition in my family so they are okay and don't cost any tickets as long as the whole family is watching together.

We are on week two of this system and although it isn't flawless, (it requires constant vigilance on my part to ensure that boys don't just get on the computer, or gaming system without permission when I'm not watching) overall it is working really well.

The older boys are helping police the younger boys too because they want things to be fair.

I put the whole thing together with scrapbook materials I had on hand and a $3.60 bulletin board that I picked up at Hobby Lobby. I painted the frame to match and just used tape and push pins to assemble the rest. The biggest investment was the roll of carnival tickets that I picked up at Party City for $8.00 but it is a big roll and should last a long time.

So, there you have it: Technology Tickets--this summer's sanity saver.


Carolyn B said...

Looks like a good idea to me...I hope it works!

Heather Oxborrow said...

so cute!

Joy said...

What a fantastic idea. I need to get the materials then go out to my craft room from and make up a few to give to my friends as well. What a truly awesome idea!

Tanya H said...

EXCELLENT idea!! So far I have learned for sure that my kids need me to require something of them before they have freetime, or they turn into little monsters, but that suits my summer plan perfectly. Its the free time that's bugging me and this is a wonderful solution! thank you for sharing!!